“Groundbreaking discoveries, entrepreneurial spirit and only rarely routine”

Ferdi Schüth is awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal

May 23, 2024

The Austrian Trade Association has awarded Ferdi Schüth the Wilhelm Exner Medal 2024. This medal has been awarded since 1921 and is named after Wilhelm Exner (1840 to 1931), Honorary President of the association at the time. With this special award, the Austrian institution aims to promote “Austrian and international scientific achievements and developments”, in particular their “direct applicability and implementation for the benefit of economic development and thus to improve the living conditions of the population”.


Ferdi Schüth, according to the award citation, is an internationally highly respected chemist. He has made “groundbreaking and award-winning discoveries in three areas that are of great economic importance”, the Austrians explain. They list Schüth's nanostructured catalysts with controlled porosity, which are suitable for various applications. His high-throughput experiments in catalysis and the topic of mechanocatalysis are also mentioned as worthy of an award. According to the Austrians, Schüth's work only “rarely shows routine”.

And there is more. “In addition, his CV clearly shows his entrepreneurial spirit,” the citation continues. Schüth, who has been Director at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung since 1998, has not only founded his own company, hte. He also continues to be a committed supporter of young scientists who are involved in founding start-ups from the world of science.

The medal was awarded as part of the Exner Lectures. Ferdi Schüth was honored there together with molecular biologist Giulio Superti-Furga.

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